8 Songs That Will Trigger the Deepest Depths of Your Memory

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Lately, there’s been a genre of posts going viral on Instagram/Twitter that feature pictures of old games, toys, movies, and TV shows from the childhoods of late millennials like me. People typically comment on them, saying: “woah, this just triggered the deepest depths of my memory.” These kind of posts inspired today’s blog post! I compiled a list of 8 songs that were a big hit on the radio a decade or so ago. You’ve probably forgotten about most of them, but you’ll remember as soon as you press play.

1. “Barely Breathing” by Duncan Sheik

This song was released in 1996, but I remember hearing it on the radio in the early 2000’s on the way to school. It was the first single off the debut, self-titled record by American singer-songwriter and composer, Duncan Sheik. Originally, it was a last-minute track added to the album to finish the record, but the song ended up becoming Sheik’s breakout hit, entering the top 20 of the U.S. Billboard charts, peaking at #16, and remaining on the chart for 55 weeks. It even landed him a Broadcast Music Incorporated Award for Most Played Song of the Year. Since then, Duncan has focused more on composing. In 2016, he wrote the music and lyrics to the Broadway musical version of American Psycho. I heard this song in Trader Joe’s last week, and was instantly transported to 2006.

2. “Boston” by Augustana

This song was released in 2005 on Augustana’s debut record, All the Stars and Boulevards. It’s been used in quite a few TV shows, like Scrubs, One Tree Hill and The Big Bang Theory. Since then, the band split and reformed again in 2012. In August of 2016, Augustana’s social media sites changed their names to “Dan Layus,” which is the name of the founding member and lead singer/songwriter of the band. Their most recent record was released in 2016.

3. “Porcelain” by Moby

Moby, an American electronica musician, released this song as the sixth single from his fifth studio album Play in 2000. According to his website, “Its melancholic lyrics describe the break-up of a relationship based on Moby’s own reflections on past romantic affections. The song incorporates reversed string samples and piano rhythms into its instrumentation.” Moby’s real name is Richard Melville Hall. His middle name and his nickname/stage name, “Moby,” were given to him by his parents because of a distant ancestral relationship to famous author Herman Melville, who wrote Moby Dick. He was Hall’s great-great-great-grand uncle!

Fun fact: the song samples the song “Fight For Survival” from the 1960 film Exodus.

4. “Right Here Right Now” by Jesus Jones

This song, by British alternative dance band Jesus Jones, was released in 1990 on their album Doubt. It was semi-successful in the UK, but ended up being more successful in the U.S.–it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July of 1990. It was even named the most played song on college radio in 1991! Jesus Jones is set to release a new record this coming April.

5. “Take a Picture” by Filter

This song, by American rock band Filter, was released in November of 1999 on their sophomore album Title of Record. In the beginning of 2000, it peaked at number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Lead singer of Filter, Richard Patrick, has said that the song is about him getting drunk on an airplane and taking off all of his clothes. The band split in 2003, then reformed in 2007. They are currently working on a new record, but haven’t set a release date yet. I remember playing this song with my friends in middle school on the old video game “Band Hero.” 🙂

6. “Satellite” by Guster

This song landed Guster their first gold record just last year. It’s the second single from their 2006 album, Ganging Up on the Sun, which received a lot of radio play, but didn’t quite make it up on the charts. (I love the album artwork for this record.) I remember my local radio stations playing it a lot as a kid. Guster just released their a new record, Look Alive, in January of this year.

7. “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega, DNA

“Da da da duh, doo da-doo doo…” …That one lyric that gets stuck in your head every time you hear it.

This song was released in 1981, originally written by American singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega. The track was then remixed by British group DNA, which shot it up onto the charts. The song’s title and story is based off of Tom’s Diner in New York City, located on the corner of Broadway and 112th Street. (You may recognize it from Seinfeld.) “Tom’s Diner” been sampled in a ton of tracks since, like Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries,” and The Black Eyed Peas’ “Wings.”

8. “Hey Sandy” by Polaris

Were you a fan of Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Pete & Pete? (It first aired in 1989.) If so, you might recognize this one–it was used as the opening theme song for the show. Polaris, which was a band specifically commissioned and formed to create music for the show, released just one album during their time together in 2002, simply titled Music From the Adventures of Pete & Pete. (I highly recommend this album, by the way…there are some killer tracks on it that make me wish they were still a band!)

Fun fact: The intro to the song features a sound bite by actor Sorrell Booke. In the clip, he  discusses U.S. missiles designed during the Cold War. This sound bite is from “To The Moon: A Time-Life Records Presentation,” an 1969 audio recording about the first moon landing.

 

What songs did you remember? Tweet me!

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Now Playing: Winter 2018

Albums:

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The 1975: A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

I’ve been looking forward to the release of this record for a few years now, and let me tell you, The 1975 did not disappoint. This record (“ABIIOR” for short) marks yet another new style/era for the band. (Each album seems to be a wildly different sound than the last.) There are quite a few ballads on this one, including the mesmerizing, jazzy tune about fear of commitment, “Mine,” and the haunting “Inside Your Mind.” (My personal favorite.)

IMG_1734Other incredible tracks include the Oasis-esque “I Always Wanna Die Sometimes,” and intense scream-along, “Love It If We Made It,” which centers around pretty much everything wrong with the world right now. The band has filmed 3-4 music videos to go along with selected tracks which were released as singles prior to the full album release on November 30, and my favorite by far was the video for “Sincerity Is Scary.” In addition, Matty has uploaded a few incredible acoustic performances of the new tracks, plus two of the band’s older songs, “Paris” and even “102,” from The 1975’s Drive Like I Do days. Track 1, simply titled “The 1975,” has been present on every record the band has released so far–they reinvent the song each time, tweaking the style and overall sound. (Left: The limited edition poster I received after attending a The 1975 Listening Party at my local record store!)

ABIIOR touches on the consequences of technology in the modern age, lack of genuine connections between human beings, and the current political issues going on in our world. Long story short, I love almost every single track. The record has a variety of style and meaningful lyrics to fill your time dissecting, and listening to it all makes me even more excited to see them live next April. Also, reminder that the guys are planning to release another album early next year 😉

Hozier

Hozier: Nina Cried Power EP

This EP was released in October, and although it’s comprised of just four tracks, it’s jam-packed with some notable tunes. When asked about how this EP ties into the release of his sophomore album, Hozier says: “This collection of songs is an example of what I’ve been working on and is a small taste of what is to be expected from the upcoming album.” The first track, “Nina Cried Power,” which features Mavis Staples, strays from Hozier’s usual style and is a rad protest song. Hozier says that the song as well as the accompanying music video highlights the work of Irish activists, and famous Civil Rights activist Nina Simone. Can’t wait to hear the rest of his new material!

Singles:

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Horace Bray: “How It Ends”

This single combines soulful vocals and jazz acoustic/electric guitar with a driving, heartbeat-like bass. Horace, who began playing drums at the young age of ten, is a singer-songwriter from L.A. who grew up in St. Louis. He credits his love for jazz to an after-school jazz program he attended in St. Louis, the UNT Jazz Singers he joined at the Unviersity of North Texas, the Four O’Clock Lab Band, and a few other groups. “How It Ends” is his latest single, released just last month. My favorite lyric is: “I saw your light and now it’s gone…is this how it ends…with a flicker of how it began?” Using light as a metaphor for love is a powerful image.

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Josh Gilligan: “Absent Mind”

This song has some serious Mac Demarco vibes going on–especially the intro and middle riff, which features a funky electric guitar and background synth. The song follows the story of two people who have previously been in a relationship (or perhaps never at all), yet one of them still believes they are a couple. Josh Gilligan is still a fairly new, up-and-coming artist from Nashville, TN. Surprisingly, he says he has been heavily influenced by artists like Paul Simon, Bread, America, Dawes, and The Real Efforts Of Real People–however, his music strays far from the style of these artists.

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Julianna Zachariou: “Subway Song”

This lovely, sleepy track snuck its way onto my Spotify Discover page last month, and it hasn’t left my head since. I find myself singing it at random times, and I’m even attempting to learn how to play it on my ukulele. It’s short, sweet and simple–Juliana paints a picture of an early morning subway ride in New York, where half-asleep passengers clutch the rails. They sway back and forth with the rhythm of the train, and it looks as if they are slow-dancing with one another. Julianna Zachariou is a indie singer-songwriter from Nashville, and her first full-length album, “Meanwhile,” made its debut last year.

An Interview with Halie Loren

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Halie Loren

Halie Loren, originally from Southeast Alaska, has been writing and performing music since the age of 13. Now an international, award-winning jazz/pop singer, Halie is a force to be reckoned with. She has released a total of ten albums over her years as a singer-songwriter, topped charts across the world, toured worldwide, and continues to wow her fans with her enchanting voice and multi-lingual lyrics–she speaks eight languages, including English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese and Korean!

After moving to the Northwest as a teen, Halie quickly fell in love with the Northwest and its music scene–and it loved her back. Within months of making the move, she was invited to be a main performer in a sold-out concert series that received much exposure around the Northwest (at just 13 years old!) A few years later, Halie graduated from high school (early) at the age of at 17. She then moved to Nashville to further pursue her dream as a songwriter. She spent the next 1-1/2 years in “Music City” writing, recording, and performing. When she returned to the good old Northwest to attend school at the University of Oregon, (scooo DUCKS!) her musical style reformed and took on a whole new sound. She had found her voice. She began touring as both a solo songwriter and jazz vocalist accompanied by a full band.

Halie didn’t stop there. During her sophomore year at UO, Halie formed her own independent record label and production company, White Moon Productions, and  released a collaborative benefit CD, “For the Love.” Things have only gone up for Halie since then. Her debut jazz CD, “They Oughta Write a Song,” won the International
Independent Music award for best vocal jazz album of the year, her 2012 release, “Heart First,” was honored by Japan’s Jazz Critique Magazine as the best vocal jazz album of year, and reached No. 1 on the iTunes Canada jazz albums chart…the list goes on.

I had the pleasure of chatting with the talented Halie Loren for today’s blog post. Enjoy! 🙂

0A Perfect Playlist: What role does language play in your creative process/songwriting?

Halie Loren: I have recorded or performed songs in 8 different languages. I’d say that I am definitely a linguaphile! I love learning songs in many different languages and the creative avenues that this practice opens up. When I’m singing a song in a language I’m either unfamiliar with or far less comfortable with than my native tongue, my inner instrumentalist comes out to play—words feel more like sounds, which is a playful way to vocalize. I get out of my narrator-mind a bit. Of all the languages I sing in, I actually speak Spanish conversationally. I also speak a tiny bit of Italian and French, and know some phrases in all of the other languages I’ve performed. I wish I could say that I’m legitimately multi-lingual in a conversational or fluency sense… I guess I enjoy being able to live out at least a bit of that dream in my music!

APP: Your music is very popular in Japan, even reaching on the Billboard Japan Top 20 Jazz Albums chart! That’s amazing, congrats. Did this surprise you? You mentioned on social media that you did a week-long tour of Japan. What did you think?

0-1HL: It has indeed been a thrilling part of my musical life! Several of my albums have even had the honor of achieving #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart in Japan, and most of the albums I’ve released there (most distributed through Japan’s JVC Kenwood / Victor label) have remained in the Amazon Japan Top 10 in several chart categories. My Japanese fans have been really good to me. I’ve toured there ten times, including my most recent tour this past July, which was part of a lengthier summer tour (in support of my new album “From the Wild Sky”) that also included Korea, Canada, the US, France, and the UK. Japan is a really wonderful place to play music — the audiences there tend toward being extremely astute, appreciative music fans, and the venues are some of the most high-quality in terms of staff professionalism and sound equipment I’ve worked with  anywhere in the world.

APP: Who are some of your inspirations as an artist? Who have you been listening to lately?

HL: One of my biggest inspirations is Joni Mitchell — her songs and their quirky genius, her stylistic risk-taking, the way she seemed to follow her muse above all else, and her realness when talking about her career. She seems like a genuine person, and one that I’d really love to know, at that.

As for who I’ve been listening to lately, I’ve found myself on a nostalgia kick, and have been listening to a lot of 60’s and 70’s  songwriters that were the soundtrack to my life in my formative years… artists such as Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Nina Simone, John Denver, Simon and Garfunkel, and a lot of others.

APP: What do you hope people gain from your music?

p-1HL: I hope that people experience a moment of emotional connection in which they feel a little bit more in touch with their human-ness. I know that’s what music does for me. Sometimes we all need to hear something that allows us to fully feel whatever it is that we’re going through— music can sort of give us permission, if you will, to swim around in our internal experience and relish it, whether it’s a joyful or melancholic moment we’re having. I love that about art in general, and it’s what I hope mine carries to the listener as well.

APP: What has been the most difficult obstacle for you to overcome as an artist?

HL: Internal obstacles, for sure. I’m naturally a shy person — quite introverted by default — so putting myself in the spotlight to begin with was a very difficult challenge to overcome, and even now, after almost 20 years of being a professional performer, I find myself facing those moments where I feel intense internal resistance toward putting myself out there the way that artists are often required to do. Social media has definitely changed all of our expectations as to what being an artist is, and how accessible and public one needs to be to continue to do what they do. This ever-changing reality has been a catalyst for me to hone my skills and push through the discomfort, which is probably really good for me.

The flip-side of this part of my nature is that I feel like it really benefits the songwriter part of me, in that a lot of my life is lived internally, and I often spend my time observing the world around me and listening more than talking.

APP: Favorite song you’ve sung, written or both?

p-3HL: Talk about a tough question! I honestly can’t pinpoint one song that I could definitively declare is my “favorite”, as that shifts from performance to performance, from moment to moment… sometimes a song is just perfect for a particular time and place, and in that moment that song is my favorite. I will say that I am always in the mood to revel in the song “Feeling Good” — it puts me in a great head-space every time, and maybe that’s because it always makes me think of the nature places I love so much and grew up around in Alaska and Oregon… it fills me with a sense of magic and wonder. One of my self-penned songs that I am most in love with right now is “Noah” from my new album “From the Wild Sky”, mostly because that song has really helped me come to terms with letting go and allowing for change. There’s a lot going on in the world that is creating struggle for people — natural disasters, climate change, conflicts, geopolitics, and so much more — and, for me, this song speaks to that pain but hopefully acts as a salve as well.

APP: Dream artist to collab with?

Can I name a few? Picking just one seems impossible! My list would include Jamie Cullum, Sufjan Stevens, Paula Cole, Frank Ocean, and Natalia Lafourcade, among others. There are so many inspiring and amazing artists out there with whom I’d be honored to create!

Thanks, Halie!

 

Find Halie:

Website

Spotify

Twitter

 

Photos and some bio information courtesy of Halie Loren/White Moon Productions.

 

Summer Spins

Summer is here again! I’m super excited to be interning with The Portland Radio Project during the next few months, a non-profit radio station in Portland committed to showcasing local artists and supporting small businesses. I’ll be doing graphic design and social media work for PRP, which I’m stoked about!

Meanwhile, I’ve been listening to a lot of new music. Listen along below.

Albums

51xW1wRspzL._SS500Twin Shadow: Caer

I discovered this album by chance on Spotify, and I’m so glad I did! With a sound similar to artists like Flume and ODESZA, lead singer George Lewis Jr. has an intriguing voice. It is often complimented by quirky instruments like synthesizers.

You may recognize a few other voices on this record, such as band HAIM and singer-songwriter Rainsford. By far, my favorite track on the record is “Too Many Colors,” mostly because of the super cool intro. When you first listen to the song, it’s easy to mistake it for a children’s song or something straight out of Disney–a xylophone dominates the beginning of the track, which then leads into the first verse.

bridge_leon_goodthing_101bLeon Bridges: Good Thing

This record came out just last month, but I already know every lyric. 🙂 Before the release of this sophomore album, Leon teased us with a little taste of what was to come. He released his two singles, “Bad Bad News” and “The Bet Aint Worth The Hand” back in March. Surprisingly enough, I’d say that the rest of the record is pretty different from these two tracks, though! Through a healthy mix of blues, jazz and soul, Good Thing is a compilation of Leon’s stories: forgiving someone who broke his heart, his mother and her childhood (a continuation of the last record), and the moment he realized he may have found the girl of his dreams. Overall, I think this record is so beautiful–my favorite tracks are “Forgive You,” “Beyond,” and “Mrs.”

Leon will be on tour this summer! See if he’s coming to your city here.

the-search-for-everything-b-iext48856379John Mayer: The Search For Everything

John released his newest single, “New Light,” just last month, and paired it with a HILARIOUS music video. He hired a low-budget Bar Mitzvah video company to produce it. As a result, the video features John singing in front of a variety of incredibly cheesy backdrops matched with wacky transitions. Through out the video, John dances awkwardly in  a pair of dad-esque, purple striped pants and a torn sweatshirt. If you’re in need of a good laugh, watch the video here.

The Search For Everything was released not long before this single. The record follows John’s traditional style of ballads and bops, my favorites being “Still Feel Like Your Man,” “Emoji Of a Wave,” and “In The Blood.” This is one of those albums that anyone who’s ever been in a relationship (and experienced its end) can relate to–you can cry to this record, belt to it, or dance, depending on the song. That’s one of John Mayer’s many talents–he produces a a versatile style of tunes that can fit any mood.

Singles

the-1975-give-yourself-a-try-1527789760-640x640The 1975: “Give Yourself A Try”

On Friday June 1, The 1975’s much-anticipated new single,”Give Yourself A Try” was released. During my 10 am lecture that morning, I snuck out my earbuds and tuned into the premiere on Capital FM, London’s most popular radio station. Obviously, I loved the track immediately. It strays pretty far from the band’s usual style–with repetitive, biting electric guitar laying down the foundation of the song.

“Give Yourself a Try” describes Matty Healy’s (lead singer) experience of “getting spiritually enlightened at 29,” dealing with a drug addiction over the past few years: “And you’ll make a lot of money, and it’s funny, ’cause you’ll move somewhere sunny and get addicted to drugs,” and subtle views on politics: “I found a grey hair in one of my zoots…like context in a modern debate, I just took it out.”

De0tQzKU8AAmJQdDespite what many fans thought, The 1975’s new record didn’t drop on June 1. 😦 Instead, the band released this new single and announced the beginning of a new “era” of music for the band, known as the “Music For Cars” era. The new album, set to release in October 2018, will be titled “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.”

Naturally, being the super-fan I am, I threw a The 1975-themed party with my friends to ring in the new era! I covered my apartment with pink, black and white themed decorations, as well as provided The 1975-themed games and snacks (pink Starbursts, pink glowing balloons, pink Goldfish crackers, black and white napkins and silverware, The 1975 album-themed cupcakes, and a game of Pin-The-Tat-On-The-Matty.)

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Betty Who: “All Things” (From Queer Eye)

This is my go-to feel-good song for the summer. This single is a cover of the opening theme for my favorite show on Netflix right now, Queer Eye, a reboot of the Bravo series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It features the new Fab Five: Antoni Porowski, food and wine expert; Tan France, fashion expert (my favorite!); Karamo Brown, culture expert; Bobby Berk, design expert and Jonathan Van Ness, grooming expert. In each episode, The Fab Five give straight guys across the country much-needed life, fashion, and home advice/makeovers. Queer Eye is incredibly touching, hilarious, and the Fab Five are beyond lovable. This song, covered by pop singer Betty Who, features Betty’s killer vocals, and the music video for it is EPIC, featuring all five guys!

a3462444518_10Florist: “Vacation”

I’m not entirely sure what it is I love so much about this song, but I’ve had it on repeat the past few days. “Vacation” is a combination of warm, childhood memories and the everyday thoughts of a girl going through life the best way she can. Through out the track, lead singer Emily Sprague sings about reminding herself of the good things in her life in the midst of finding herself. My favorite lyric is: “I don’t know how to be what I wanted to be when I was 5.” Everyone can relate to this line, and I think I speak for a lot of people when I say there are times when it feels like we’re simply coasting through life, unsure of what to do next. It’s easy to start wondering what the five-year-old version of yourself would think of who you are now, and whether or not they’d be happy with the things you’ve accomplished. Songs like “Vacation” are really important, because it reminds us that we aren’t alone in thinking these things. It urges us to examine the moments that have shaped us, and remember that every day we continue to grow and change. Another lyric I love is: “And at least I know that my mom is breathing when we talk on the phone. And at least I know that my house won’t burn down, down to the ground. Or maybe it will.”

Accept things that come your way, and never stop listening to music that means something to you.

Spring Tunes

Helloo! It’s been a while.

I’ve been incredibly busy these past few months, so I haven’t had much time to sit down to write a post. However, no matter how hectic things get throughout the school year as I drown in homework and activities, there’s always time for music.

Now that it’s spring, my favorite artists seems to have decided now is the time to release new music and mix up their sound–and I’m loving it. Check out what I’ve been listening to below!

Singles

leon-bridges-good-thing-620x620Leon Bridges: “Bad Bad News” & “Bet Aint Worth The Hand”

The release of these two new singles teases Leon’s fans with a tiny taste of what’s to expect from his upcoming album. Unsurprisingly, I love both of these tracks–especially “Bad Bad News.” It’s an innovative, jazz-alternative track featuring some killer bass guitar, sizzling drums and of course, Leon’s beautiful lyrics. Although the two singles he released are very different from the style of his debut album, Coming Home, released in 2016, the new tunes are still true to his sound and immensely unique.

album-packshotGeorge Ezra: “Pretty Shining People,” “Hold My Girl,” and “Saviour” (ft. First Aid Kit)

I’ve written a lot about George Ezra, an English singer-songwriter, podcaster and musician. He’s got a lot going for him right now–George started a podcast called “George Ezra and Friends,” last month, in which he’s interviewed some big-name artists like Ed Sheeran and Hannah Reid (London Grammar). They’ve chatted about their creative process, what they love about music, and more. Check it out here! “Pretty Shining People,” “Hold My Girl” and “Saviour” will all be featured on George’s upcoming album, Staying At Tamara’s, which is set to release on the 23rd of this month. I am particularly loving “Saviour,” right now. This haunting single features the band First Aid Kit, and the heartbreaking, repeated lyric that I love: “all of me is all for you, and what I have to give is not enough.”

James Bay: “Pink Lemonade”

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This single, which came out on March 7th, is incredibly different from anything James has ever released–especially considering the fact that his debut EP “The Dark Of the Morning” (2013) is all acoustic. Although he’s released Chaos And The Calm since then, a pop-alternative album featuring his most popular song, “Let It Go,” this single strays far from James’ usual style with its harsh electric guitar and a more gruff vocal style from James. Check out his SNL performance of “Pink Lemonade”  here!

Albums

a4082023118_10 Little Chief: Lion’s Den

One word to describe this record: cathartic. Little Chief is a folk band from the Ozark Mountains who are often compared to artists such as The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons and the Head and the Heart. The song “Lion’s Den” on the record is about mustering the strength to put your faith in things that are unseen, and let go of what may happen in the future. Every song on this album tells a story of perseverance, resilience, and finding peace in the most difficult moments.

HONNE: Warm On A Cold Nighta93acfc2563cf68c465f554ef956a292.970x970x1

I’m OBSESSED with the vocals on this album. Lead singer Andy Clutterbuck’s voice is low, hypnotizing and perfectly complimented by the backing guitar and piano on this record. My absolute favorite song right now is “It Aint Wrong Loving You.” A catchy, sweet pick-me-up tune.

Album Review: Nathan Sykes’ “Unfinished Business”

nathan-sykes-reveals-unfinished-business-album-artwork-01I’m so excited to finally write this post! Nathan Sykes has been a favorite of mine since I was thirteen years old and he was a part of my most favorite band at the time, The Wanted. I’ve so enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a solo artist since then.

The Wanted were an Irish-British-pop band formed in 2010 made up of members Nathan Sykes, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, Max George, and Tom Parker. (I’ve been following this band since my love for them in middle school, so I don’t even need to research any of this information.) After five successful years, the band decided to take a break from making music together and pursue their own careers in various fields. Since then, all the boys have succeeded in one way or another–and for Nathan, his biggest accomplishment so far has been releasing his own, debut record.

Nathan has a unique vocal style that ranges from pop, R&B to soul-sounding. He never sings one song the same way each time, and his incredibly raw, natural talent really comes through in this record–he sounds exactly as he does in his live shows, which showcases rare, amazing talent. (I’ve seen him twice, and met him two different times.) Check out the live version of his single “Famous” below. (And if you want to see videos of Nathan singing live last summer in Portland & me chatting with him, click here.)

This album, “Unfinished Business,” is an incredibly strong debut. With a variety of songs ranging from ballads, electro-pop bangers, to jazzy, trumpet-filled anthems, this record has something for everyone.

img_8317The first track on this album is a great introduction to Nathan’s new style–“Good Things Come To Those Who Wait.” This upbeat, trumpet-and-drum-infused tune features a choir accompanying Nathan, which sounds incredible. (Reminds me a bit of the style The 1975 have been incorporating into their new music–especially with songs like “If I Believe You.”) (Photo on right taken by me.)

A few of the most memorable tracks on this record are: “I’ll Remember You,” “Famous,” “There’s Only One Of You,” (this one is very John Mayer-esque), “Twist,” and “Tears In The Rain.” This new album also features a few familiar faces/voices such as rapper G-Eazy and singer-songwriter Ariana Grande.

nathNathan did a bit of touring last summer in the U.K. and U.S. to promote his upcoming album, and is planning to do another tour (most likely early next year) now that it’s released. I had the pleasure of chatting with him before his show in PDX last summer, and it was a pretty cool experience to discuss this record with him. (Plus, he’s just a funny and very sweet guy.) I tried to coax the title of the new album out of him before it had been announced, but he stubbornly refused, telling me that I “probably already know the name of the record and just don’t realize it.” 😉 Nathan also talked about how much this record means to him–he put his heart and soul into producing it, and has poured his memories and experiences into each and every song. This album is just as good as I hoped it would be. I  highly recommend checking out Nathan’s music if you’re into artists like Charlie Puth, Union J, or Olly Murs. (Picture on the left: me and Nathan!)

Nathan’s album is available on CD, vinyl, and through most streaming sites. Take a listen here!

An Interview With Samantha Preis

Samantha Preis

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Samantha Preis, a London-based singer-songwriter, has been described as possessing a “soulful,” “introspective,” and simply “captivating” voice. Her songwriting depicts stories of the complex vision surrounding the human condition, and simply every day life–from heartbreak, the art of letting go, and discovering yourself as an individual, Samantha’s music has begun its journey across the globe–from her home base in London, to the U.S., Middle East and beyond. Her latest single, “Lost For Me,” is available on all music streaming sites, as well as her debut album Good News, which was released in 2013.

A Perfect Playlist: How would you describe your sound?

Samantha Preis: Others have described me as sounding Pop/Jazz/Folk, or compared me with artists such as Norah Jones, Laura Nyro, Kate Bush, Tori Amos, etc.

APP: Yeah, your voice reminds me of Norah Jones mixed with a bit of Florence and the Machine. Who are a few of your influences when it comes to your unique style?

SP: The Beatles, Michael Hedges, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Steely Dan, Jethro Tull, Debussy, Jobim, Burt Bacharach, Django Reinhardt, Frank Sinatra, Gershwin, Bill Evans…. all jazz really… a lot of music from the 60’s and 70’s… I could go on and on!

APP: Tell me a little bit about your latest single, “Lost For Me.” What’s the story behind that song?

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SP: The song is about an individual venturing into the unknown, armed with very little except memories of people and experiences that have shaped her. These things help guide her through her journey. I feel that people and experiences in our lives stay with us far after they are physically gone and give us direction and meaning.

APP: Favorite gig you’ve ever done?

SP: Cafe Universel – a jazz bar in Paris’ Latin Quarter – it’s a small, intimate venue where true art-lovers come to feel something.

APP: That sounds wonderful. What advice can you give to young artists who are looking to begin songwriting?

SP: Play what you feel. Write for yourself, not for anyone else.

14425485_10155266801802785_6275809722654663357_oAPP: There is a theory that songs are just waiting to be written–we are constantly surrounded by them in a sense, and songwriters pin them down, capturing their story in the form of a song. If one artist doesn’t claim the song, someone else will. Do you agree with that theory? What is your songwriting process?

SP: I don’t believe songwriting is a competition. A lot of songwriters seem to feel like they need to write a song a day, or that the more songs they write, the more likely one of them will become a “hit.” I am not that way. I write when I am inspired to. I may go months without writing a song, or a very long time without feeling the desire to play at all. I have found that my best material comes in spurts and is often unplanned– it’s almost as if I am channeling something in the room that comes through me… like TV air waves!

APP: What records have you been listening to/loving lately?

SP: Loving everything by Kings of Convenience – totally brilliant. Also Chad Vangaalen is fascinating.

APP: What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in terms of your musical career?

14115625_10155172245002785_3697200637170627119_oSP: I love putting out the most honest work I possibly can. I was very proud to release my first album Good News in 2013.

APP: If you could bring back one artist from the dead to perform with, who would it be and why?

SP: David Bowie or Prince, possibly. I feel they both supported the idea that there are no rules in art. They created music/art they truly believed in, even when it may have been seen as unusual. People loved them for it because it was honest and real and their enthusiasm for what they did was contagious.

APP: Anything else you’d like to say to the readers of A Perfect Playlist?

SP: Love yourself. Love what you do. Keep on rocking in the free world 😉

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Find Samantha here:

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